Right before Beyoncé’s monumental “Black Is King” visual album debuted last summer, fashion designer Mia Vesper was on the verge of shuttering her brand, which the music icon would ultimately wear in one of the music videos.
“I was kind of ready to throw in the towel at the time,” Vesper said during a presentation of her spring 2022 ready-to-wear collection. “COVID-19 was breathing down our necks and with quarantine, I sell super well in-store because it’s a very tactile collection and it’s very colorful, so people like to try it on. But I was like, let’s give it one last try because I knew the video was going to be released.”
Vesper instead poured her time and energy into revamping her website and branding to make her line “a legitimate brand [customers] could trust when shopping online,” once Beyoncé’s album was released.
The effort paid off, as Beyoncé’s custom metallic plissé dress — plus the more than 60 looks she designed for the singer’s back-up dancers — made her quickly develop a large customer base, including a new celebrity clientele. Since “Black Is King,” Vesper’s styles have been worn by the likes of Paris Hilton, Billie Eilish, Lena Waithe, Machine Gun Kelly and others.
Vesper started her namesake brand in 2017, looking to vintage tapestries, deadstock material and other sustainable resources to create one-of-a-kind pieces. She released her first rtw collection last fall after focusing on her signature plissé fabric for matching sets, dresses and separates as well as creating pieces out of tapestries and lacework from countries like Mexico, Italy and Uzbekistan that she sources from sites such as eBay and Etsy. Vesper stated that about 20 percent of the collection included vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces, and the rest were made from new materials in New York.
“I usually come from the perspective of gathering textiles first — and my textiles are so specific that they really only want to be certain things — so I kind of let her take the wheel,” she said. “One of my greatest joys has been working with one fabric for a long time, in a way I think is more commonly explored in accessories, and taking it as far as I know how to take it. That’s what I’ve been doing with the plisse.”
Vesper has continued using the plissé fabric in her spring 2022 rtw collection, titled “See Me.” The playful collection focuses on the message of “finding your place in the world through dress” and is made from hand-loomed Mexican serape, vintage Italian wedding blankets and Turkish tapestries. It includes new versions of Vesper’s metallic plissé fabric as well as vintage lace pieces embellished with crystals and stones.
The collection marks an expansion for the Mia Vesper brand. Vesper is additionally introducing jewelry to her line, releasing a selection of Murano glass and vintage stone-designed necklaces as part of the spring collection. She is expanding outside of her direct-to-consumer strategy with several wholesale partnerships slated for later this year.
With the expansion Vesper remains committed to her sustainable practices while staying true to her mission of designing well-made pieces and making conscious business decisions.
“Sustainability is a buzzword and fashion, in my opinion, is inherently unsustainable,” she said. “I think that if we really want to do it right, then we should probably all be thrifting, but we also didn’t get into this predicament because of what I’m making. I do think that there is a huge value in artistry and intentional craft and making clothes that are really special, which is what I think I do. I don’t make anything that already exists and that’s a little bit of a different bent on sustainability.”
READ MORE HERE: